There’s something depressing about taking a 5# slab of beef, a bottle of wine, the usual onions and root veggies, and cooking them all low and slow — only to have it and the potatoes fail to soften to fork-tender like you were expecting. It appears that our cookbook had a typo and we were instructed to cook the pot roast too low, but for the right amount of time.
We salvaged things as best we could by boiling the potatoes for a while in the sauce, at the same time we were reducing it by half. The meat tasted good, we dropped it and the sauce and veggies over some wide egg noodles, and everything was edible – if kind of ugly – but it took about an hour longer than planned and it just wasn’t quite “right.”
From beginning to end, it was frustrating. Jeff and I got on each other’s nerves when the reality of the layers of mistakes came to light, but it all came out fine in the end. Good wine and patient neighbors who are always ready to be pleased made up for a lot of our newbie mishaps. The cannoli they brought for dessert were a sweet end to our time together, too.